An aerial view of Paradise, California off of Clark Road on Nov. 15, 2018. The Camp Fire has burned more than 7,000 structures in Paradise. 


Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images


An aerial view of Paradise, California off of Clark Road on Nov. 15, 2018. The Camp Fire has burned more than 7,000 structures in Paradise. 




According to S&P, it’s “too early to forecast industry losses accurately, though we expect the magnitude of losses to be less than last year’s events.”


A report from Moody’s Investor Service estimates losses could approach about $6.8 billion. A figure by Morgan Stanley put the estimate at closer to $4 billion.


Homeowners who live in what scientists call “wildland-urban interface” areas pay on average about 40 percent more for home insurance than people elsewhere, according to the state insurance commissioner.


Californians with homes in high-risk fire areas will likely continue to bear the brunt of future rate hikes. Homeowners also can expect additional instances where insurers decide not to write some policies.


“I would anticipate that we are going to see rates continue to go up in the wildland-urban interface area, based on the risk and the enormity of the losses,” Jones said. “We’re looking at a future where we’re going to have more frequent and more severe fires, and that’s already having…an impact on insurance availability and pricing.”


In 2017, there were about 6,800 single-family homes that were completely destroyed by California wildfires, primarily during the October of 2017 firestorms that swept through Northern California’s wine country region. The state insurance regulator estimates wildfires last year caused about $12.6 billion in insured losses.


“Obviously, 2017 was a very tough year from the standpoint of underwriting losses,” said Jones. “And 2018 is shaping up to be an equally tough year.”


The Camp Fire about 90 miles north of Sacramento incinerated most of the town of Paradise. The 146,000-acre blaze was listed at 50 percent contained as of Friday evening. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with some of the people impacted by the disaster on Saturday.




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